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Amy Halpern Program 1: Falling Lessons

Friday, Feb 10, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Halpern made nearly 40 films and one feature, almost all on 16mm. During the 40 years she spent in Los Angeles, she collaborated with such luminaries as Pat O’Neill, Charles Burnett, and her husband David Lebrun. Halpern grew close with the legendary filmmaker Chick Strand and appears in her film Soft Fiction among other influential and formative west coast experimental films. She and her films inspired countless artists, including those she taught at various institutions around L.A., most notably at the University of Southern California. Halpern brought people together for a common good, cofounding two screening cooperatives: The New York Collective for Living Cinema (1972–82) and the Los Angeles Independent Film Oasis (1975–80).  

“Amy Halpern’s 64minute Falling Lessons is a stunningly sensual, life-affirming experience from a major experimental film artist that is open to myriad meanings. The film is a rhythmic montage of almost 200 faces, human and animals, that Halpern pans vertically, creating a cascade of visages suggesting that while individuals express a range of emotions, they remain ultimately enigmas. The glimpses of life going on around all these faces have an unsettling, even apocalyptic quality, and the film forces you to consider living beings and their value collectively rather than selectively. Halpern’s rich, inspired mix of sounds, words and music complements her images perfectly.” Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times 

Films include: 


2022, 16mm, color, sound, 6 mins. 

Emit a Beam, See a Light 

2022, 16mm, color, sound, 4 mins. 

Jane, Looking 

2020, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 2 mins. 

Ma Sewing 

2021, 16mm, color, silent 24fps, 2 mins. 

Falling Lessons  

1992, 16mm, color, sound, 64 mins. 

Total running time: approx. 77 mins. plus reel breaks 


Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.